I'm at JFK waiting to get on a flight back home after the 2nd A/B Duo tour of the year. I am pretty exhausted. It's been an eventful year. I'm tired but I can't be happier with how things turned out in 2013. So much has happened that I need to look at my calendar to see what I did January-June of this year.
I closed my private teaching studio and said goodbye to my fantastic students. (I hope they are all doing well with their new teachers.) I flew to Chicago to rehearse with Chris Jones, my percussionist half of the A/B Duo, and to perform Flight of the Bleeper Bird at the Green Mill in Chicago. Also took A/B Duo promo photos during one of the coldest weeks of the Chicago winter.
Started a day job in IT auditing with some ex-coworkers from KPMG (an old day job) who started their own boutique firm. Performed at Rockage2.0 (a music and video gaming show) in San Jose. It was the first time I've played a rock show as part of the main act (not in a backing orchestra) in about 10 years and it was beyond exhilarating! A few days later I flew to Jacksonville, FL for the first A/B Duo mini-tour.
Spent all my time (the tiny bit of time I had left after the day job and personal time) dealing with the release of my second solo album: designing the album artwork, managing the CD manufacturing and distribution, and dealing with PR. My album was released on April 4th. It was so much hard work but artistically very rewarding. Got some great reviews over the year from:
It also made the Avant Music News "Pick of the Week" alongside new albums by Pat Metheny and Anthony Braxton!
Much needed vacation sandwiched in between more day job madness.
Performed "To Committee" in Daniel Felsenfeld's chamber music show at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Then a trip to Iowa State University for the Andover Educators conference.
By July it became clear to me that Lucy my dog no longer saw me as her primary caretaker. She started favoring my husband over me and I barely saw my husband and dog between day job and travel/practice. A minor but lingering health issue also complicated matters. Then came the life changing time at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.
Right after "Banglewood" I flew to Chicago for A/B Duo rehearsals and business. Took a 30 hour trip to New Orleans to premiere (with pianist Erica Sipes) Daniel Felsenfeld's "The Low Chamber" for contrabass flute and piano at the National Flute Association's Annual Convention.
I quit my day job. I had to prioritize the important things in my life: my family and performing music. Money and IT auditing didn't make my list of important things so I had to quit my day job even though I loved my coworkers and my firm. The new season of A/B Duo activities started with a whirlwind weekend of a concert in San Francisco and recording our first EP.
A trip to Chicago to play with the Anaphora Ensemble: a concert at UW Oshkosh and live radio broadcast from WFMT. Mixing, artwork, mastering, distribution and general preparation for the A/B Duo EP release.
Spent some time going to more concerts in San Francisco and started to meet more local musicians in person. Tried to figure out what to do with my life so that every day can be the way it was at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival: rehearsing, performing or listening to great music every day.
A/B Duo tour to Chicago, Rochester and Brooklyn. Spent a few extra days in NYC to eat awesome vegan pizza, meet with old friends, and go to the Bang on a Can holiday party.
First thing I'm going to do when I get home: buy a used drum kit. I had to learn some rudimentary drum kit skills to play the 4th movement of Ivan Trevino's "Things We Dream About" and now I'm hooked. I always fantasized about becoming a rock guitarist or even playing bass in a rock band in my next life but I never even imagined that I could play the drums. I may never play drums with a rock band but at least I will have a great time by myself!
This is the piece that made me want to learn to play the drums for real. (Disclaimer, although I play drums on this movement in live performances, all drums on the recording - and the audio in this video - are performed by Chris Jones.)
Next year, much like this year, is going to be a combination of opportunities I make for myself, luck, and an insane amount of hard work. Can't wait!